By Olajide Meseko
Nigerian football legend, Austin ”Jay Jay” Okocha has said Tunisia outclassed Super Eagles with tactics.
Veteran Youssef Msakni scored two minutes into the second half to give previously unimpressive Tunisia a 1-0 second-round triumph over 10-man Nigeria in Garoua.
Nigerian hopes of levelling were dealt a huge blow midway through the second half when Alex Iwobi, initially yellow-carded for a stamp on Msakni, was sent off after the referee looked at the VAR monitor.
Msakni, playing in his seventh Cup of Nations tournament, dribbled across the edge of the box before unleashing a curling shot that entered the net off the left arm of goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
Substitute Naim Sliti almost doubled the Tunisian lead with 15 minutes remaining when he fired a shot toward the corner of the net only to be thwarted by a superb two-hand save from Okoye.
Nigeria had a chance to level as time ticked away, but Moses Simon sent a free-kick from just outside the box over the crossbar.
Okocha said, “They (Tunisia) executed their tactics well. This is a disappointing loss. They outclassed Nigeria. I have always said that you are as good as your next game. This is a lesson for every big team.”
Okocha had warned that the match against Tunisia, will be the Super Eagles’ toughest match so far in the 2021 AFCON tournament.
“I think it is good to see that we are flying high, but the most important one is the next game and we can only justify our performances so far if we go on and win the next one.” Okocha had said while speaking on his punditry role with Supersport.
“So every next game is the toughest one for you and the one you have to win. I hope we will carry on the good job that we are doing so far.”